Monday, 27 June 2011

Hell on Newerth

Having just spend the last hour and a half trying to mix and match my papers for next semester i thought it was time for a little Starcraft II action. But alas, i find the ladder system to be down... again. Unfortunatly i've done my daily Zaishen quests on Guild Wars and effectively burnt myself out of GW for today with a few vanquishers this morning, i think it is time for a little Heroes of Newerth, one of my other passions. But before i do have a few games, i thought I'd share my views on what HoN is at the moment and where it maybe heading.

To start with, HoN is NOT League of Legends, they are completely different games that carry similar concepts, but again, they are completely different and should not be compared in my opinion. I've never played LoL, but having watched several videos and commentaries i have come a simple conclusion, the games are perfect examples of how to take a single concept, and deliver it in completely different ways. That is all i am willing to say about LoL and it's comparisons to HoN, i'm sure you can find many bias comparisons throughout the internet.

In HoN, the Legion and Hellbourne are locked in a never ending battle over the world of Newerth. The player will pick from several heroes to join four others on either the Legion or Hellbourn and must work with his/her team to destroy the enemies main building (Tree for Legion and Heart for Hellbourne). There are towers, creeps and enemy heroes that stand in your way, as the other side is trying to destroy your base at the same time. HoN is a mixture of careful planning, tactics and a little bit of twitch gaming, which should appeal to anybody who is looking for a very competitive gaming experience.

The problem for HoN is that its competitive nature has led to a very nasty approach by the HoN community. There are no warm welcomes for new players of HoN, there is an expectation that you know exactly what you need to do, and if you don't do it... you cope a rather large amount of needless rage and name calling. Even 'noob' games are watched for and joined by regular players, they just love to feel good about themselves by smashing new players into the ground. In a recent experience, a good friend of mine and myself took a little time to try and teach a few friends how to play, so we added 'noobs' into the server title when we created. What we got, was an enemy team of 5 players that were excessively better than the players we played with/against when we joined the usual games, hmm, your penis must grow with each newbie you destroy.

So if you were maybe thinking about getting into HoN, my recommendation is simply, don't. Don't waste the money, it is seriously not worth it with the community as it is, you should either get in to LoL for a little bit or just wait until DotA2 is released, that is what i'll be doing. As soon as DotA2 is out, HoN will be quickly uninstalled from my PC, the community has just worn me down, and the sudden influx of unbalanced heroes was the final straw for me. I won't be at HoN's funeral, and i assure you, all my friends that play, feel the exact same way. Good gaming.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Rush Rage!

You know what, if you want to play Starcraft II your already playing it so i figured rather than a review on the Blizzard epic i'd just write up some of my ladder experiences. As the title states, i am a Protoss player... a Protoss player that doesn't know the 4-gate build order mind you. I have actually just gotten into Starcraft II but i had spent months watching Husky/HD/Day9/Totalbiscuit Starcraft II content before i got into it. While i lack the experience, the knowledge of the game from those videos has gotten me into Gold league where i get the impressions i don't belong... as i am horrible against the countless rush builds.

Having just come from being 4 gated by another toss, I'm actually feeling a little disdain for those who use these rush tactics. Yes, it is a viable build and yes, it does give the user an easy win/quick loss, i still feel that the users of these tactics lack the skills required if the game were to get into a long macro game. Sure, don't fix what isn't broke, but i feel people should at least practice these long game strategies, who knows, the skills gained may allow you to claw your way back into a game where you initial rush strategy didn't work.

I have actually become quite good at scouting and preparing for the usual Marauder rush i seem to be on the end of each and every game against Terran. Unfortunatly, those Zealot/Zergling rushes are still flaws in my game that i am continually forced to practice against, thus making me unable to practice that which i feel is defiantly lacking, my macro and APM (Actions Per Minute). When i play HoN my APM is around the 180's but I'm struggling to get it past 60 in my Starcraft games, any tips would be appreciated ;-).

So yeah, i guess all i have to say is i get extremely agitated with what seems like a never ending stream of players using nothing other than rush strategies, and i feel these players need to practice other parts of their game rather than trying to nail down what is considered a 'cheese' tactic. And hey, who doesn't love it when HUGE armies crash into each other. Good gaming!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Guild Wars, its about Guilds... and their Wars

If you need more convincing to pick-up a copy of Guild Wars and its expansions, i shall continue my little review. Before Guild Wars was released, ArenaNet was a very small company with large ambitions, it had limited funds but unlimited creativity and just wasn't known at all in the MMO community. With the acquisition of ArenaNet by NCsoft and the release of Guild Wars this all changed, ArenaNet became a well known and respected game developer, with all it's efforts focused solely on the expansion, improvement and refinement of Guild Wars and its expansions.

To this day, content is being added very regularly plus the improvement and sometimes reworking of current content. This, plus one of the best development teams that is known to interact quite often with the community, should be more than enough to sell you on dev support in Guild Wars. (Recently there was a mass banning of botters across all servers, how this was done can be seen in this link)

Orginally there were 6 professions, with 2 professions added in each of the first 2 expansions. These classes are Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Elementalist, Necromancer and Mesmer. With Ritualist and Assassin added in Factions and the Dervish and Paragon added in Nightfall. One profession must be selected on the creation of the character which defines how your character looks and the basic hp/energy limits. But once in game, you can add a secondary profession from ANY of the other professions, this means there is potentially 90 different combinations each with different strengths and weaknesses. The only limit to the secondary profession is that you are unable to increase the 'primary stat' of that profession, which can dominate how strong certain spells of the profession can be. The share amount of information on the classes is too large to put into this post so feel free to visit the Guild Wars Wiki with this link.

One of the other huge aspects of Guild Wars is in its name, Guilds are much like they are in most other MMO except with more content. Whilst to many, Guilds are just a prefix before your name, an extra chatroom with regular acquaintances and a better chance of getting a group together for missions, they include a major PVP aspect for those who swing that way. As it is the name of the game, Guild 'Wars' between guilds are the highest caliber of PVP combat in this game and can be watched anytime your character is in a town using B on your keyboard. In these games you can visibly see what i was trying to get at in the last post with twitch gaming, the top teams are just crazy to watch, with perfect skill usage and energy management, those who have tried a little PVP can truly respect these guys and how good they are at this game.

I hope you have enjoyed my overview/review of Guild Wars, and are now hopefully considering buying the game or reinstalling it. I will say that what i have said is entirely my opinion and some will disagree with me, it is impossible for this game to be loved by everyone as much as i love it. Till next time, good gaming.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Finally Done, and now... Guild Wars!

It was slightly belated but i have finally finished my exams, huzzah. I was meant to finish the 16th but I had one of my exams postponed with the reason given as "Spontaneous building damage to exam location"... Zuh?! Oh well, it gave me 4 extra days to study which made me VERY happy... whether it helped or not... guess i have to wait for my results haha.

Well i have promised a lot of game reviews but have no idea where to start... so i guess I'll start at the game that I'll be loading up as soon as I've finished writing this up, Guild Wars. For those who don't know, Guild Wars is a MMORPG with 3 expansions, Factions, Nightfall and Eye of the North. The key feature that sets Guild Wars apart from all other MMO's is that it is Buy-to-Play which means once you have bought the game, there are no extra subscription costs. You can take a break and play a few months later with no cost, something i have done several times in the past few years.

Being a 6 years old MMO the graphics aren't the best and are incredibly glitchy. From the blinding white shiverpeak mountains to the sitting in waist high boulders (rock car races!) there are many aspects of Guild Wars' graphics that may turn you off it but I can assure you that this is by far the worst aspect of Guild Wars, apart from maybe the cut-scenes but that is because they are created using the in-game graphics, glitches and all.

If you can look through the horrible graphics you are met by one of the best MMOs ever made, in my opinion of course, that invites you in to lose hours upon hours completing the massive story line missions and everything else in between that may no be found unless you go exploring! The extreme volume of content in Guild Wars can keep you occupied for months, possibly even years, like myself who has clocked in over 700 hours in the past 5 years. Thats crazy, thats almost a solid month of nothing but Guild Wars.

So that keeps those of you that enjoy PVE happy, but what about the various PVPers? Well, how about a system where the victors of a battle are decided solely by the skill of the players and has nothing to do with how many hours you've spent in dungeons getting the best gear. In fact, it is completely possible to create an already maxed character and do nothing but PVP without the limit of time spent on the PVE aspects. The battles themselves are borderline twitch gaming, where the survival of a comrade maybe decided by how quickly you can get a protective enchantment on them, or the interruption of a 1/2 second spell, which i can assure you is VERY possible in Guild Wars.

Do i have you intrigued? I will continue my review of Guild Wars tomorrow, but in the mean time you could check Rubi's blog at She lives and breathes Guild Wars, and is therefore FAR more qualified on defining the Guild Wars experience.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Dnd: The Cripple is studying

Looks like i picked the worst time to start up a blog... as soon as i got the last of my assignments out of the way i had to start studying for exams, sigh. My last exam is on the 16th, so after that I'll get started doing what i have been planning to do with this blog, until then...

Briefly, i want to mention and personally recommend the use to Power Naps when studying. It has helped me a hell of a lot during this study period, and it has kept me very focused... apart from trying to learn how to flip a pen over my thumb... woops.

For now i will leave you with another great track from Skrillex.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Its About Time

Hey guys, its been way too long since i have posted. Basically spent 3 days straight playing and clocking LA Noire, then bought and thrashed Witcher 2 for another 2 days. Also had my birthday on Wednesday which meant a flat party on the 14th and a soccer team party on the 21st, both of which contained ALOT of drinking xD. Unfortunately this left me way behind on my Uni work/assignments and I've been working hard trying to catch up!

I should be back to posting every other day in a few days once I've cleared up all my assignments and class work. Future plans are a few basic reviews for Witcher 2, LA Noire and Terraria (few friends just bought it so I'm going to join them between study sessions). I will also talk about one of my other passions, music. My tastes are a little all over the place, but hopefully i can keep it short.

On that subject i will leave you with one of my current favorites.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Past the Brink, clear sailing now

Hey guys, sorry its taken a bit for me to write up another post. Brink came out a day early... by design from what i've heard, just Steam lying to us haha (I'm not complaining). The Brinkathon started early and it went for a bit longer than expected, plus while i was there i was getting a Blogger error and couldn't write up a post while i was at my mates flat.

So... Brink. Get through the bugs and the problematic "Server not responding" steam error, and it's just pure fun. I will state this now, Brink isn't CoD, you don't put your cross-hair on your enemy then they die. More often that not if you jump out in front of someone and you get into a spam melee, the victor is decided by a few things. Weapon choice, body type and quake-like reflexes... but mostly luck. The weapons, particularly the SMG's (i mostly played light body type, loved the movement) have a habit of emptying 30 bullets in 2-3 seconds, which means its luck as to whether the bullets are landing on the enemy or just zipping past them. The recoil is controlled by the mentioned quake-like reflexs, lacking those and the enemy won't be dead by the time you need to reload.

So how do you win?

Tactics, stratergy and teamwork is what is needed to win. On every level there is at least one choke, killzone or easily defended area that the attacking team must break through/down. Countless times i have seen the attacking team throw everything that they have at a single entrance to a room they have an objective in, when if they took a step back to think "wait, this isnt working, lets find another way" at least 3 more entrances, backdoors or flanking positions that can be used to gain an advantage on the defending team would be found.

Quite often i've flanked a defending team holding a choke and ive unloaded into the 5-7 defenders standing in the same place, dropping them all before they even realize where the gunfire came from, allowing my team to push forward and complete/escort their objective.

I'd have to recommend this game to everyone wanting an FPS online experience where teamwork is required to become to victor. Unless quick patches are released to deal with the many bugs, i don't think i can recommend this game to the casual FPS gamer or anybody just looking for the next 'new' FPS game. But anyway, i must return to my assignments that are holding me back from playing Brink 24/7.

Also, just "preordered" Witcher 2 which is due out tomorrow. My next post will probably be a personal review like this one.